SB 91: New Eviction Protections for California Tenants

If you aren’t able to pay rent because of COVID-related hardships, California eviction protections require you to pay at least 25% of all rent that was due starting in September 2020 in order to avoid being evicted for not paying rent.

Originally you had to make the 25% payment by January 31, 2021, but that deadline has been extended to June 30, 2021.

There are also newly created financial assistance programs that may be able to help you get caught up on rent payments before the June 30 payment deadline, or the state may be able to make the 25% payment for you. More information will be available about these programs soon.

At this time, your landlord cannot legally evict you for not paying your rent as long as you:

  • turn in a signed declaration that you couldn’t pay because of decreased income or increased expenses due to COVID-19, and
  • pay 25% of your rent by June 30 or your landlord agrees to accept payments through a financial assistance program.

If your landlord does not agree to accept payments through the repayment program, the state may be able to pay the 25% due on June 30 on your behalf.

Please note: your landlord may still be able to legally evict you for reasons other than nonpayment of rent.

If your landlord serves you with eviction papers, please call our offices for further screening or seek other legal help immediately.

Rent Assistance for California Tenants

The State of California, in partnership with federal and local governments, has created an emergency rental assistance program to assist renters who have been unable to pay their rent and utility bills as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This program may be able to help you get caught up with past-due rent and you can apply for it regardless of your citizenship or immigration status.

Depending on the availability of funds, the program may also be able to assist you with making future rental payments.

You can get more information by visiting or by calling 1-833-422-4255.

You will still owe the full amount of the rent to your landlord, but you cannot be evicted from your home if you comply with the declaration and 25% payment or rent forgiveness requirements.

You should keep careful track of what you have paid and any amount you still owe to protect your rights and avoid future disputes.

Failure to respond to notices from your landlord may result in an unlawful detainer action (eviction) being filed against you.

About Declarations

If your landlord gives you a notice saying that you failed to pay rent, your landlord should also give you a blank copy of a COVID-related financial distress declaration. You can also find a copy of the declaration online at

Your landlord may require you to submit a new declaration form for each rental payment that you do not pay that comes due between September 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.

You can deliver your declaration to your landlord through hand delivery, U.S. mail, email if landlord provides you one, or in the manner you normally pay rent.

If you are unable to pay any of the rental payments that came due between September 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021, and you provide your landlord with the declarations in response to each 15-day notice your landlord sent to you during that time period, your landlord cannot legally evict you for not paying if, on or before June 30, 2021, you or the state pays your landlord an amount equal to 25 percent of all the rental payments due from September 2020 through June 2021, OR if your landlord accepts past-due rent payments through the state’s rental assistance program.

Questions? Please visit our office locations page and call the CRLA office nearest you:




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